Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 15.36.18Ponteland-based computer and technology repairs company, Fortress Computers secured a £7,000 loan from the Finance for Business North East Microloan Fund managed by Rivers Capital Partners. The business will use the funding to purchase new equipment and improve their community-based maintenance and repairs services. Fortress sells refurbished PCs, recovers data and fixes computers alongside repairs for handheld devices.

Alan Pattinson, owner at Fortress, has a very clear ethos for his growing business, hoping that Fortress Computers will not only become hugely profitable but also an integral part of the Ponteland community. After working from home for ten years he finally realised his dream of opening a technology repairs shop in November 2014.

The company is set apart from its competitors as all Fortress employees are registered to refurbish Microsoft products. Fortress Computers is qualified to create bespoke products with software that is individually catered to meet the customer’s needs.

The Fortress owner saw a gap in the regional market for a business that would cater to “silver surfers” as well as target the traditional demographic of younger, affluent people. He wanted to create a home service for elderly people that were struggling with technology, mostly to assist them with fundamental needs such as setting up an email account. However, he also wanted to advise the more vulnerable sector of society about scams from various phone companies and broadband providers.

Remarking on his community-orientated strategy, Alan stated his desire to help the elderly stems from his experience as a dementia support worker. He takes great satisfaction in assisting people in his area with everything from TVs to stereos.

Alan decided to apply to the Microloan Fund managed by Rivers Capital Partners after financial advisory service What Partnership referred him to the Fund. Alan needed the cash boost to hire more staff for home visits and purchase initial stock such as computer parts for repairs.

Commenting on the Microloan process, he said it was “[An] easy, quick process guided by people with friendly personalities.”

The £7,000 investment will be used to support a future expansion.  Alan hopes to open up a branch in Newcastle, employing more staff and eventually a van permanently on the road providing a home service. Alan is also keen to provide low signal areas, such as Belsay, Stampfordham and Matfen, with better broadband. Locals have already shown a lot of interest and installation should be going ahead in coming months.

Rivers Capital Partners James Holloway said “It is rewarding to work with a thriving business that aims to be an integral part of the community, as well as providing reliable, high quality services.”

The North East Microloan Fund provides small loans of £1,000 – £25,000 that make a big difference to businesses in the region. The Fund is ideal for inspired individuals who know that lack of finance is the missing link that is holding their business back.

The Fund is specifically aimed at businesses that have been struggling to secure mainstream finance and can provide affordable credit for those with a poor credit history. A loan Fund run by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, the decision to provide a loan is not based on the assets a company has but rather the overall quality of the business. This makes for a speedy, hassle-free funding process, which you are guided through by professionals every step of the way.